I found out about Reverb 10 while perusing one of my very favorite blogs this morning (Permit me a digression: if you are a fan of cooking, cocktails, witty prose, and artfully frugal living, The Pink of Perfection is a must-read.). Reverb 10 is, in its own words, an “online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.” Participants receive writing prompts daily as inspiration to “use the end of [the] year as an opportunity to reflect on what’s happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.”
Wait a minute. Writing with frequency and focus while satisfying my compulsion for year-end cosmic slate-cleaning? Of course I signed up immediately. The December 1st prompt, and my subsequent musings, are below.*
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
The word that surfaces as I ruminate on 2010 is “fruition.” After spending my 20s dating an assorted cast of likable-but-not-exactly-relationship-material guys, in 2010 I got engaged to a man of kindness and integrity. 2010 also brought about a life-changing career development: after years of juggling full-time restaurant work with gigs while finishing a long-belated Bachelor of Music, I booked a Broadway show. The seeds I’d been sowing for so long had (finally) yielded fruit, and my personal and professional identities were transformed.
As I look ahead at 2011, however, it’s becoming obvious to me that what seems like the end of one journey is often just the beginning of another. True, getting engaged marked the end of dating (yippee!). Now, though, my fiancé and I are standing at the edge of marriage. The joy of committing to each other for the long haul is underscored by a new appreciation of how formidable the long haul really is: rich or poor, sickness and health, good times and bad. Yowza. This just in: contrary to what the monolithic wedding industry would lead us to believe, marriage is serious.
Career-wise, I am no longer burdened by the limitations of having to report to a restaurant daily and squeeze in singing gigs whenever possible. I’ll tell you something, though: those limitations were comfortable. You see, I knew how to be a “struggling-singer-with-a-steady-restaurant-job.” I’ve never done the “full-time-singer-with-no-safety-net” thing before. It’s exhilarating but, truth be told, also a little terrifying.
I’m not alone in my metamorphoses; lots of people near and dear to me are experiencing similar shifts. Some folks are getting married, others are having babies, and still others are forging new professional and creative identities. Bidding adieu to the realm of the familiar is always a combination of exciting and scary, so as 2011 looms, I am drawn again and again to the word “faith.”
We don’t know what lies ahead. Security is an illusion. Everything could go beautifully wrong. Everything could go terribly right. I choose to leap, and trust that the net will appear. I hope you do, too.
*Since I have begun the Reverb 10 project nearly a full week into the month of December, I may be doubling up on some of the prompts until I get caught up. Here’s the prompt for December 2 (in my case, an easy one!):
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)
Well, I haven’t been writing my blog. Today I eschewed my favorite time suck (random web-surfing) in favor of signing up for Reverb 10. If any of you lovely readers would like to do the same thing, you can click on the Reverb 10 badge on the right of the page.